New York Jets wide receiver Vyncint Smith might not be with the team if not for former and current teammate Demaryius Thomas.
In late September, the New York Jets made a move that flew under the radar: signing wide receiver Vyncint Smith off the Houston Texans practice squad. Smith, who had a rushing touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles, was a depth piece picked up while the team was thin at receiver.
However, adding solid depth is important for NFL teams, and one of Smith’s former teammates, Demaryius Thomas, feels the team got a good one off the scrap heap.
According to Connor Hughes of The Athletic (subscription required), Adam Gase asked Thomas about Smith. Smith told Hughes that his agent told him “Demaryius gave you quite the shoutout.”
The two met last season after Thomas was acquired by the Texans in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Thomas was an extremely talented being thrown into a new system with no warning, while Smith was a receiver who knew the system but was a little raw.
So the two decided to team up. Thomas told Hughes that there was an agreement made between the two to help each other out. “He offered to help me with the playbook. In return, I helped him on the field.”
Thomas was impressed by Smith’s work ethic in their brief time together.
“He wants to know the how and the why,” Thomas said. “That’s super beneficial. When you have someone like him that wants to work? Those are the guys who end up being the greats. They’re the ones who are in this league 10-plus years. We never had a problem with Vyncint. He was reliable, dependable and accountable. I praise him so much because he was always on time. He did everything right. We never had to ask him to do anything. He would work in with the No. 1 offense or scout team. He jumped in and did it the same way. He reminds me of myself. I would do those things.”
It’s certainly high praise coming from a former Super Bowl champion who was once one of the better players in the league at their shared position. Thomas knows what it takes to be successful in the league and he feels strongly that Smith has the work ethic to reach that level. When Gase asked about Smith, it was nothing but positives from Thomas.
“I couldn’t tell (Gase) enough about him,” Thomas said. “I told him how he’s the guy who, when you tell him something, he listens. He then instantly takes it to the field. He has raw talent. He can run, catch, run with the ball in his hands. But he listens. He listens and applies. That’s hard for young guys to do. But with Vyncint, you tell him, he’ll practice it a couple of times, then he does it. I’d been around him most of last year. So I knew how hard he works. I told (Gase) how, when we were in Houston, he ran the most routes out of anyone. Sometimes (Hopkins) would be out, or Fuller. Vyncint would fill in wherever they needed him. He ran everything. Never complained. He just did his job. Kept his head down.”
Smith has had a big impact on his only touch that he’s gotten so far. With Sam Darnold returning from mono, the passing game will become more prevalent in the game plan. It will be interesting to see if Smith can make an impact in that area in the coming weeks.